The Weekender 04/11/2017

Welcome to the November - this far through the year already!


The All Blacks take on the Barbarians this weekend in England to kick off their northern tour. The Barbarians have thirteen kiwis in the squad.

Canterbury continued their dominance of the Mitre 10 Cup with a 35-13 win over Tasman in the final.

The Rugby League World Cup continued with the Kiwis beating Samoa 38-8 and then thrashing Scotland 74-6, but all the talk has been about the Samoa vs Tonga game tonight in Hamilton. There have been a few clashes between supporters in South Auckland this week, but it seemed to calm down with no trouble in Hamilton tonight, but we were driving across town today and there were heaps of cars driving around with flags from one or the other country. Tonga were the winners 32-18.

The Aussie V8's are at Pukekohe this weekend and while title-contender Fabian Coulthard crashed out badly, fellow kiwi and defending champion Shane van Gisbergen won the Saturday race to move closer to the front of the table, and Scott McLaughlin came third.

The Wellington Phoenix looked to have turned a new leaf when they were up 3-0 against the Brisbane Roar. But they managed to blow the lead and had to settle for a 3-3 draw.

The Black Caps fell short of a maiden ODI win in India when they were narrowly beaten by six runs in the final ODI.

Lydia Ko started strongly in Japan and remains in the top-10 with one round to go.

NZ News

It has just surfaced that part of the NZ First-Labour agreement, calls for improving relations with Russia, positioning NZ alongside America, however, the EU Ambassador has been unusually critical of the move.
Labour has ignored the facts that NZ education consistently ranks highly and has planned major changes including axing league tables and a big shakeup for NCEA. They are also ignoring the great economy and aim to finalise a ban on overseas homebuyers within a couple of weeks - National has pointed out that overseas buyers are less than 2%, so other than annoying foreign investors, the move is unlikely to do anything for housing.
And it doesn't stop there. Apparently, Labour is planning on politicising the District Health Boards by demanding resignation letters from chairmen of DHB's who are not "on the same wavelength" as the new government.

The Department of Corrections annual report indicated that there was an increase of 700 prisoners this year. The number of unnatural deaths was down to one, from 11 the previous year. There were no break-outs or escapes - for the third year running. Five people escaped from escort (out of 62,500) but they were all apprehended and returned to custody. Reoffending has been declining over the last six years. The Labour government seems to have ignored this and part of their major changes is that they are scrapping the "three strikes" law, in their words "because it's not working".

The new government has planned to add 1,800 police officers over three years but Police Minister Stuart Nash has backed down on his earlier plan of hiring police from overseas.

I understand how MMP works, and fine, NZ First picked Labour and Greens and they all had more votes than National so they get to be the government. Sure, that's how it works. But Labour seems to have taken their appointment as an indication that everyone in the country wants everything in the country completely changed. They seem to think that rather than the majority of people voting for the previous government, the result means everyone thinks everything was terrible. There are huge changes to all areas being made, and considering how well things were going before, it's a bit of a worry.

The Numbers Game

3: people killed by trains in the last 24 hours
7: people died on roads in nine hours at the start of this weekend
52: % of kiwis thought the start of spring was between "Not the Best" and "Average" - only 10% picked "Awesome/Pass"
3,199: m tall Mt Cook was skied down by three experienced European skiers
20m: $ cocaine bust in Tauranga - the largest single seizure in NZ - after a five-month-long inquiry by Customs and police.

Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5291 (0.0068)
EUR 0.5944 (0.0046)
USD 0.6917 (0.0066)
AUD 0.9020 (0.0070)

The Weekender NZer of the week

Godfrey Bowen
World's Fastest Shearer
With a history steeped in agriculture, it is natural that New Zealand’s farmers, shepherds and shearers have become known throughout the world for their skill and toughness. Many have travelled, to teach and work in foreign countries, but few have been invited to Buckingham Palace, appeared on late-night American television or been honoured by the leader of the Soviet Union. Only one: Godfrey Bowen.

Joke of the Weekender

I have an EpiPen. My friend gave it to me when he was dying, it seemed very important to him that I have it.


Darren Harrison:
The Weekender: mailed weekly (Sunday nightish)
{If these just fill up your junk mail, then send me an email & I'll take you off the list | The Weekender is not a verified news source, sometimes it's even just an opinion}

The Weekender 28/10/2017

Hello, it's been a wet weekend - and was last weekend too, but we've had some lovely days in between.


The Black Caps were in action this week in the first ODI against India, in India. Trent Boult got his international season off to a good start taking four wickets and conceding only 35 runs in his 10 overs, as India reached 280 for 8. The NZ openers got a few, the captain not much, but Tom Latham and Ross Taylor both did great 103 & 95 respectively as NZ reached 284 for 4. India won the second game with a six-wicket win but NZ has one more chance to win their first ever ODI series against India in India.

As predicted the final Bledisloe Cup game wasn't all easy and Australia won their first game against the All Blacks in 805 days with a 23-18 win.
In national rugby, after sixteen years of trying, Wellington has finally won a final! They beat Bay of Plenty 59-45 after 100 minutes of rugby and will return to the Premiership.

Lydia Ko continued her strong(er) form by claiming a second in the LPGA Tour event in Taiwan, and she was on the top of the leaderboard in Malaysia this weekend.

The NZ Breakers upset Melbourne at home 88-76, while Tom Abercrombie was hitting his 250th game in the ANBL against Brisbane.
Stephen Adams continued having good games while the OKC lost with a 20-point haul against Minnesota losing 119-116.

The Ferns have lost 30-37 to England in the Fast5 Netball World Series opener.

Brendon Hartley finished 13th in his F1 debut in the US Grand Prix, a great result and enough to get him another drive this weekend in Mexico. There is also talk he will finish out the last few races and is being offered a contract for next season.

The Rugby League World Cup has kicked off with Australia beating England, and currently, NZ is playing Samoa and are leading 10-0.

NZ News

National is planning to flex some opposition muscle with the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary. Apparently, NZ First is supported by a number of fishery organisations, and there was talk that one of their points was that Labour would have to can the massive sanctuary. But National will be aiming to lodge a member's bill and hope the Green Party either vote for it, or abstain from voting which would be enough for National to push it through.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson has claimed that the Blacks Ferns should be paid better - pretty ironic because one of the things this government has already announced is that they want New Zealand National sport to be free for viewing - which has to mean everyone is going to have less money (maybe he's just going for parity by paying everyone less?).

It was announced this week that Winston Peters with his 7.2% of the vote will be Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister. His "cast-iron commitment" to move the Port of Auckland to Northland has been watered down. One problem he overlooked during electioneering was that Auckland Council owns it - not the government.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will be annoyed again at being likened to Donald Trump by USA Today. They said she had Trump-like characteristics with her strong stance on immigration. Labour plans to introduce a 10 cent/Litre tax on petrol to fund their light rail to the airport - and that was on their first day of office.

The Kea was crowned NZ bird of the year.

The Numbers Game

5: dead on the roads over Labour Weekend mean the road toll numbers are still heading up
5.4: Richter scale earthquake near Kaikoura
7: th most powerful passport in the world
100: days before the Hamilton Sevens and the tickets have sold out
20m: $ expected savings in power for schools after Labour and the Greens agreed to put in solar panels - with an expected cost of $150m
1b: $ to be poured into the regions under the Labour & NZ First coalition deal

Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5223 (-0.0129)
EUR 0.5898 (-0.0068)
USD 0.6851 (-0.0203)
AUD 0.8950 (-0.0017)

The Weekender NZer of the week

Archibald McIndoe
No Ordinary Surgeon
Motivated by a desire to be more than just an ordinary doctor, Archibald Hector McIndoe pursued greatness and became much more than an ordinary surgeon. Appointed plastic surgeon to the Royal Air Force in the midst of World War II, McIndoe brought plastic surgery to the forefront of burns treatment and became a pioneer of what is more commonly known today as ‘therapeutic community’. As noted by one of his patients; “McIndoe, as well as being a great surgeon, was also a great psychologist”.

Joke of the Weekender

I poured root beer in a square glass.
Now I just have beer.


Darren Harrison:
The Weekender: mailed weekly (Sunday nightish)
{If these just fill up your junk mail, then send me an email & I'll take you off the list | The Weekender is not a verified news source, sometimes it's even just an opinion}

The Weekender 21/10/2017

Welcome along.


Tonight's big game is the final Bledisloe Cup match, with the series over it only makes the Aussies more dangerous.
Piri Weepu has hung up his boots, he played 71 times for the All Blacks. Sam Cane has signed with NZ Rugby through to 2021. Nehe Milner-Skudder has been ruled out of rugby for seven months after a right shoulder injury.

Kiwis continue to do well in the English Premier League with All Whites striker Chris Wood heading home an equaliser for Burnley against Winston Reid's West Ham last weekend.

Golfer Danny Lee was in the top 10 after three rounds at the PGA in Malaysia, and he finished with a tie for seventh, his best result since June. Lydia Ko finished in the top 20.

The Breakers put on a good game as they beat the Sydney Kings in Auckland 90-73, making it 2 from 3 at the start of the ANBL. And Stephen Adams had a good game with Oklahoma City pushing out to a 105-84 win over the New York Knicks after the Knicks pulled even through the middle of the game.

Brendon Hartley took the main stage beside Lewis Hamilton in the press conference before his Formula One debut in Austin this weekend. He was chosen as one of the four drivers for the press conference.

NZ News

The week started with continuing delays from Winston Peters and ended with him on Friday announcing to everyone (no one other than his caucus knew which way he would jump) that New Zealand First was forming a government with Labour. Yet again the Greens have been happily kicked to the curb by Labour but they continue to lap it up and will provide confidence and support - what they should have done is called National asking for a deal.
So what is coming up? They look like they will try to slash immigration, kill off the housing market (there goes all the good work on the economy) and move NZ left as far as drug legalisation is concerned.

NZTA announced at a meeting this week that the current Manawatu road would never reopen. They have provided four alternatives.

The Numbers Game

25: year celebrations for Auckland's Starship children's hospital
1,300: hectare fire near Te Anau
1m: $ worth of speeding tickets in six weeks through Auckland's new Waterview tunnel
4m: $ being spent by the NZ Defence Force on 82 new high-tech sniper rifles
6.6m: trips through the Waterview tunnel since it opened, at 400,000 vehicles using it every week, saving 20 minutes from using the Southern Motorway
11.5m: $ being spent by Tauranga City Council to put in new LED street lights

Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5352 (-0.0034)
EUR 0.5966 (-0.0082)
USD 0.7054 (-0.0104)
AUD 0.8967 (-0.0139)

The Weekender NZer of the week

Harold Gillies
Aesthetic Reconstructor
“Rhinoplasty, skin grafts, and facial reconstructions have been practised for centuries. However, it was New Zealander Harold Delf Gillies who standardised these techniques and established the discipline of ‘plastic surgery’. In 1920, his textbook “Plastic Surgery of the Face” was published, setting down the principles of modern plastic surgery; principles which were adopted by surgeons from every part of the world. The British Medical Journal described it as “one of the most notable contributions made to surgical literature in our day”.The New York Medical Journal said that “his are the greatest of all contributions to the advance of this interesting reparative work.”

Joke of the Weekender

My wife told me I had to stop acting like a flamingo. So I had to put my foot down.

Weekender Photos

Have a look at photos


Darren Harrison:
The Weekender: mailed weekly (Sunday nightish)
{If these just fill up your junk mail, then send me an email & I'll take you off the list | The Weekender is not a verified news source, sometimes it's even just an opinion}

The Weekender 14/10/2017

Hello, there have been some lovely spring days - it's getting warm.


Last weekend the All Blacks left it late but did beat the Springboks 25-24 in a testing test. Damian McKenzie did some amazing work, and many kiwi commentators lamented the wrongly given South African red card.

National rugby hasn't been too good around here but Wellington thrashed Southland 61-12. Taranaki locked away the Log o Wood for the summer after beating Manawatu mid week 46-25. Waikato was beaten 36-32 by Bay of Plenty ending a miserable season and they have been relegated - for the first time since 1986.

Last weekend was the weekend for motorsport - Bathurst - The Great Race. Scott McLaughlin got poll when he set a lap record emulating his hero Greg Murphy. But it was a wet messy start and none of the Kiwis were at the front near the end, McLaughlin dropped out with engine trouble. But with Jamie Whincup also having mechanical problems, Kiwi Fabian Coulthard's third placing meant he was the one to benefit in the championship standings, jumping McLaughlin to the top.
In other motorsport, Hayden Paddon has been confirmed as back in the car for Hyundai for the WRC finale in Australia, and although it hasn't happened yet, Kiwi Brendon Hartley has been confirmed by Toro Rosso as a driver for the F1 team for next week's US Grand Prix. If that goes ahead he will be the first Kiwi F1 driver for 33 years.

The Australian NBA season has started with the NZ Breakers dropping their first game against the Cairns Taipans 82-71, but they impressed in their second game with a vintage Kirk Penney performance pushing them to an 87-85 win over the Sydney Kings. S

The Silver Ferns haven't been doing well in the Constellation Cup against Australia and even though they beat Australia recently, Australia have won all four games, the last three 60-52, 55-43, 58-42.

Kiwi squash player Paul Coll pulled off a significant upset when he beat World Number 2 Karim Adbel Gawad from Egypt in the opening round of the US Open in Philidelphia.

NZ News

The final votes are known but we continue to wait. The country sits around with only a caretaker government while we wait for Winston Peters to make up his mind. A man who didn't even win his own electorate seat and whose party gained only 7.2% of the votes, gets to entirely decide what our next government will be. Good work MMP. Winston had set a self-imposed deadline of Thursday but has slowly been pushing it out as the deadline got closer and now we might know Monday. Insiders are picking that Winston will go with Labour.

The most beautiful city in the country is ... Masterton. With Greytown picking up the most beautiful small town.

The Numbers Game

13: dead on the roads since Friday as the road toll hits 296 and this looks like it will be our worst year for a while
846: NZers killed in a few hours at Passchendaele 100 years ago in WW1
27,232: speeding tickets for a Ngauranga Gorge speed camera - a total of $2,387,700 - the most in NZ, out of a total of 573,971 tickets

Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5386 (-0.0037)
EUR 0.6048 (-0.0004)
USD 0.7158 (0.0068)
AUD 0.9106 (-0.0019)

The Weekender NZer of the week

Bill Hamilton
“Bill Hamilton saw the sea for the first time when he was four years old — and he was delighted. He trapped some sea water in a bottle so he could make the tide work at home. He was disappointed, of course, but Bill Hamilton was to spend a lifetime testing, and then defeating, the tides and currents of man and nature.”

Bill Hamilton’s jet-boat revolutionised river and shallow-water navigation. It enabled people to travel for the first time, at high speed – up rivers and waterways all over the world. It was a craft that sped people up the Colorado, Ganges, Amazon, Congo, Mekong, Yangtse and countless other rivers. It opened the door to exploration and the supply of goods and medicines to otherwise inaccessible areas. The jet-boat also became an exciting new form of recreation. It situated Hamilton proudly in the lineage of New Zealand inventors who answered our need for speed.

Joke of the Weekender

I bought my friend an elephant for his room.
He said "Thanks."
I said, "Don't mention it."

Darren Harrison:
The Weekender: mailed weekly (Sunday nightish)
{If these just fill up your junk mail, then send me an email & I'll take you off the list | The Weekender is not a verified news source, sometimes it's even just an opinion}


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